Alexander von Linsingen

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Alexander von Linsingen
Alexander von Linsingen general.jpg
Born (1850-02-10)10 February 1850
Hildesheim, Kingdom of Hanover
Died 5 June 1935(1935-06-05) (aged 85)
Hannover, Germany
Allegiance  German Empire
Years of service 1868–1918
Rank Generaloberst
Commands held

World War I

First Battle of the Marne
First Battle of Ypres
Brusilov Offensive
Battle of Kowel
Awards Pour le Mérite with Oak Leaves

Alexander Adolf August Karl von Linsingen (10 February 1850 – 5 June 1935) was a German general during World War I.

Military service[edit]

Linsingen joined the Prussian Army in 1868 and rose to Corps Commander (II Corps) in 1909.[1] He was one of the very few top German generals not to have served on the general staff.

At the beginning of World War I, Linsingen was a Corps commander in the First Battle of the Marne. Transferred to the Eastern Front where German and Austrian armies were threatened by a Russian offensive in Galicia, Linsingen took command of South Army (1915). He defeated the Russian armies in the Battle of Stryi in 1915, capturing 60,000 Russian prisoners. He was awarded the Pour le Mérite on 14 May 1915 and the Oakleaves (for a second award) on 3 July 1915.[2]

In 1915, he took command of the Army of the Bug and was concurrently commander of Heeresgruppe Linsingen. In June 1916, his Army Group faced the Brusilov offensive. After an initial retreat, he checked the Russian advance at the Battle of Kowel.[3] He was promoted to Colonel-General, the second highest rank for a general in the Imperial German Army (4 stars). In 1917-1918 and especially after the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, he led the German advance into the Ukraine.
On 31 March 1918, his Army Group was disbanded and von Linsingen became the Military Governor of Berlin (June 1918). Alexander von Linsingen died on 5 June 1935 and is interred at the Neuen St. Nikolai-Friedhof in Hannover, Germany.

Decorations and awards[edit]


  • Armee-Abteilung or Army Detachment in the sense of "something detached from an Army". It is not under the command of an Army so is in itself a small Army.[4]
  • Armee-Gruppe or Army Group in the sense of a group within an Army and under its command, generally formed as a temporary measure for a specific task.
  • Heeresgruppe or Army Group in the sense of a number of armies under a single commander.


  1. ^ "Biography on The Prussian Machine". Retrieved 30 October 2012. [permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Pour le Mérite". Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Who's Who on". Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  4. ^ Cron 2002, p. 84


  • Cron, Hermann (2002). Imperial German Army 1914-18: Organisation, Structure, Orders-of-Battle [first published: 1937]. Helion & Co. ISBN 1-874622-70-1. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
General der Infanterie Josias von Heeringen
Commander, II Corps
1 September 1909 - 10 January 1915
Succeeded by
Upgraded to South Army
Preceded by
New Formation
Commander, South Army
11 January 1915 - 8 July 1915
Succeeded by
General der Infanterie Felix Graf von Bothmer
Preceded by
New Formation
Commander, Army of the Bug
8 July 1915 - 31 March 1918
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Heeresgruppe Mackensen
Commander, Heeresgruppe Linsingen
9 September 1915 - 31 March 1918
Succeeded by
Heeresgruppe Eichhorn-Kiew